Most often, helical gears are associated with transmissions in the automotive industry. But they can also be used across many different industries, and are a good substitute for the commonly utilized spur gears — especially if noise is a factor.
Noise control is just one of the advantages of using a helical gearbox design in your application, but it's far from the only one. Here are some other benefits of helical gearboxes.
1. Helical gears can bear greater loads. As mentioned, helical gears are similar to spur gears but with the gear teeth produced at an angle to the axis of the gear. This allows helical gears to bear more load than spur gears and operate more quietly.
2. Helical gears are more versatile. They can be used in both parallel (in-line) as well as right angle gearbox configurations. They’re also produced with the gear tooth helix direction in both right and left hand orientations. (Keep in mind, helical gear sets used in parallel must use one right and one left hand gear.)
3. Helical gears offer greater range. When used in parallel, multiple helical gears may be used to offer a wide range of gear ratios and distance between input/output shafts.
4. Helical gear sets offer more flexibility compared to standard spur gears. For example, when used in right angles, you can use either two right hand or two left gears depending on the desired output rotation direction.
5. Right angle helical gearboxes can have a greater range of gear diameters. This helps helical gearboxes achieve various ratios as well as distance between input/output shafts.
6. Right angle helical gearboxes provide non-intersecting shafts, meaning the input/output shafts are offset from one another at a distance determined by the gear diameters.
Helical gears in parallel gearboxes provide many advantages over straight tooth spur gears including greater tooth contact area, higher load carrying capability and smooth, quiet operation. Depending on your desired operation, they can be a smart, cost-effective alternative for your application.